Mad About Berries

Healthy Smoothie Recipes - Smoothie Recipes for Weight Loss

Smoothies are easy and quick meals and snacks to make. Depending on their composition, they provide practically all of the nutrients that the human body requires.

Incorporating berry smoothies in daily nutrition can increase daily vitamin, mineral, antioxidant, fiber, etc. intake and can help in regulating weight in both ways - losing weight (preferably fat) and gaining weight (preferably muscles).

Updated: May 8, 2024.
raspberry strawberry smoothie 4

Macronutrient Content of Healthy Smoothies

Important macronutrients of every meal are protein, carbohydrates, fats, fibers, and water. They are present practically in every food and in every meal we consume. However, it is important to know which food contains which macronutrients and how they can be beneficial to our health.

Berries are fruits and as such, they lack nutrients like protein and certain fats. There are fruits and even berries that contain fats in higher amounts, but amounts of fats in most of the berries are rather low - and that is great since fats are very energy-dense foods - 9kcal per 1g of fats and oils.

Berries are a source of mixed carbohydrates - they contain mostly medium complex carbohydrates with some simple and complex carbs. One of the ways of comparing berries with other foods is using the Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load of the foods - berries have low to medium-high glycemic index (GI) and due to portion sizes and amounts of digestible carbs, they mostly have a low glycemic load (GL).

berry protein smoothie w600In order to increase the protein content of smoothies with berries, one has to use lean protein sources like low-fat cheese, cottage cheese, milk, yogurt, or protein supplements based on casein protein (very slow digestion, 6-8 hours), protein blends (medium slow digestion, depends on the blend, but generally 2-4 hours) or whey protein blends (fast digestion, 1-1.5 hours).

Most people growing berries in home gardens don't like the idea of protein supplements or supplements of any kind (real food is real food, after all), but such supplements do have their benefits: high protein content, very low fat, and carbs content, especially lactose content is low.

For people who are lactose intolerant, this is very important, especially since some manufacturers add enzyme lactase to their protein powders - lactose-intolerant people lack the enzyme lactase, which breaks down lactose during digestion! However, if you really dislike even such supplements, consider plant-based protein powders - more expensive, but most of them lack lactose, gluten, etc.

Some of the most popular protein supplements that may be used for making protein smoothies include (Amazon links, open in the new window):

Fats content of healthy smoothies should be kept to a minimum. However, if you are making bedtime smoothies, fats are desirable, just keep them rather low. Best fats sources for bedtime smoothies based on berries and slow digesting protein sources are ground nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, etc.) and peanut butter.

Fiber content comes from berries and perhaps ground nuts and peanut butter. Generally, although fibers are very important for proper digestion and for making one feel satiated, don't worry too much about fiber content - berries are great sources of digestive fibers.

Liquids used for making berry smoothies are plain water, lemon water, various types of milk, yogurt, fresh fruit juices, etc. By varying amounts of liquid, one changes the thickness of smoothies - one can drink them, eat them with a spoon, or leave them in the freezer and eat them as healthy ice cream!

Note on milk, skim milk, and fats: milk is a great source of calcium and protein, but there are also many other important nutrients, especially if the milk comes from grass-fed cattle. If you have, for example, goat milk, even better. For making smoothies, one rarely needs more than 2-3 dcl of milk.

The difference between 2-3 dcl of skim and full-fat milk is perhaps 5-10g of fats (45-90 kcal), but also skim milk often has lower amounts of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. Long story short - if you tolerate lactose and have access to goat milk (or similar), go for it!

fully ripe lemons on tree w600pxLemon water can be used as the liquid for healthy smoothies, too, with many advantages over regular water. Lemon water boosts the immune system, balances pH, contains certain vitamins and minerals, reduces bloating, and helps with other stomach issues.

Also, it has a very pleasant smell and aroma. If you don't have time to make lemon water, make smoothies using ordinary water and add some lemon juice to the mix - it will give it a nice, very pleasant fragrance.

Lemon can be easily grown in containers, so if you have access to homegrown lemons, be sure to use them for making healthy snacks.

Yogurt can be used for making rather thick smoothies that are consumed with a spoon or for making healthy ice creams. Like milk, yogurt is a source of calcium, protein, and other macro and micronutrients. However, be VERY CAREFUL about 'low fat' or 'low sugar' yogurts and foods in general.

'Low fat' yogurts are often loaded with simple sugars (stay away from them), and 'low sugar' yogurts often have higher amounts of fats but also plenty of artificial sweeteners - stay away from them, too. Always be sure to read the labels; that is why they are printed, after all.

Tea can be used as a liquid for making healthy smoothies and daily snacks. Be sure to use freshly made tea, with no sugar added, cooled to room temperature.

Recommended types of teas are green tea, white tea, rosehip tea, various fruit teas, black tea, and any other tea that you personally like - just don't add sugar! :)

Some of our very popular smoothie recipes include:

 Also, for the full list, check our Recipes category.

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